The conference portion of the college basketball betting schedule is around the corner but we still have to get through December. Saturday’s slate of games features two top-five teams playing on neutral courts and a top-10 showdown that should end up as the best game of the weekend.
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Butler Bulldogs
Saturday, 2:00 PM ET
Odds: Hoosiers -11.5
This will be played on a neutral court in Indianapolis, but both schools should get a lot of support in this state rivalry game at the Boston Scientific Close The Gap Crossroads Classic. Indiana has played like the #1 team in the country all season and Butler will struggle to slow them down offensively as the Hoosiers are first overall in points scored. The Hoosiers are also 13th in rebounding, while Butler is 136th and the Bulldogs have to figure out a way to keep Cody Zeller and company off the glass. Good luck with that, Butler; Indiana rolls for their fifth win in seven games against the Bulldog in Indy while covering the college basketball spread.
Pick: Hoosiers -11.5
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, 8:00 PM ET
Odds: Wolverines -11
Third-ranked Michigan will take on West Virginia in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Classic, and even though the Wolverines are a guard-driven team, they’re remarkably efficient on offense, coming in seventh in field-goal percentage. The Mountaineers are 311th in that category, but they’re a very good rebounding team that has to dominate in that facet of the game to have any chance against Michigan. There are a lot of people that feel Michigan doesn’t deserve to be #3 in the rankings, and that is sparking their play right now. They’re a much better defensive team that people give them credit for, and the Wolverines should pull out a rout on Saturday.
Pick: Wolverines -11
Florida Gators @ Arizona Wildcats
Saturday, 8:00 PM ET
Odds: Gators -3
A pair of unbeaten teams clash in Tucson, where the fifth-ranked Gators are visiting for the second time in their history and the first since 2003, when they won by a point. The #8 Wildcats have lost two of their three meetings against Florida, and this game could be decided at the point, where the Gators’ Kenny Boynton will go up against Arizona’s Nick Johnson. Both are more than capable of passing the ball, but they have no problems with taking the scoring load on their shoulders. All three meetings between Florida and Arizona have taken place since 2001, all in the early part of the season, and the largest margin of victory is last year’s six-point win for the Gators in Gainesville, so you should expect another close game on Saturday. Both teams like to push the pace of the game, but the Wildcats have the edge at home and Johnson is a little more efficient than Boynton, so ‘Zona should win the turnover battle. This is going to be a very good game to watch, but the Wildcats should be able to hold off UF for a huge win.
Pick: Arizona +3